Do I want to live forever? No. I’m not sure I want to live at all, to be honest.
I believe two factors contribute to a person’s desire for eternal life. First, it is their fear of death. Religion can be a substantial contributing factor and the simple apprehension of the unknown. I am not religious. I am an agnostic nihilist. I do not know what awaits me on “the other side.” I am pretty sure I will go into the ground and become fertilizer. Nihilism is the belief that life is meaningless. Therefore, I will walk through this world full of struggle, only to become worm food. I do not fear death. I strive to live according to a basic moral compass, guided by the golden rule. If a higher power judges me for the life I have led, I think I’ll pass with a B+. I don’t think some man is standing there with a clipboard, analyzing me for what I ate or who I had sex with. I do not believe there is a heaven full of rainbows and fairytales for those who follow a book of fairytale rules. I also don’t think there is a hell full of fire and torture for those who hurt, cheat, or steal; however, I wish there was such a place for evil. Dante described hell as having levels commensurate with the sins committed by the souls doomed to an eternity of punishment. This would be an ideal scenario, in my opinion.
Second, there are people in the world who can experience and identify more happy moments. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. Overall, my life until this point has been relatively privileged. I never went without food, shelter, or medical care. I have three healthy children. Someone looking in from the outside would wonder why I never consider myself “happy.” I do not have a clear answer. I believe it is a combination of trauma, personality, and choices. The personality component may be the most significant factor. I am an empath. I did not start referring to myself as an empath when it became trendy. This is something I knew from the start. Some people witness the atrocities in the world and can compartmentalize and move on with their life. Those moments chip away at my soul like the slow erosion of a beach. Every wave leaves me with a little less sand to walk on. Some people don’t have the ability to read others; therefore, they do not realize how many interactions direct negativity toward them. Unfortunately, I see through most inauthenticity. I wish I did not. Throughout my life, I rid myself of the toxic people around me. Other than my children and a few friends, I generally stand alone in this world.
So, do I want to live forever? No. I am not afraid of death nor see enough happiness in this world to warrant an eternal existence. I will stay as long as I can for my kids. I will revel in the happy moments I experience, but I see no need to exist past my mortal expiration date.